OpenBSD Journal

a 50-pin scsi drives wanted

Contributed by jose on from the plea-for-help dept.


List:     openbsd-misc
Subject:  Hi
From:     Theo de Raadt

Date:     2003-09-21 4:19:40

For quite some time, various older machines in the project which
developers use have been running on ... shall we say... "scary" disks.
All the 50-pin scsi drives we've been using (on vax, mvme68k, mvme88k,
hp300, sun4c, hppa, and other such machines) have been slow, very old,
small, and did I mention they are used and scratched and just plain
*terrifying* to us since we feel they could fail at any minute?  Also,
since these machines normally have 10mbit ethernet, this situation just
plain sucks for builds.

So in the past I've asked if anyone had some drives like that.

Well I've just now found that one can still buy some insanely fast
drives which have 50-pin scsi on them, for instance the

which someone could buy at (say)

Anyone feel like plopping down a little bit of money and sending a few
this way, for the build machines and the ports build machines?  Replacing
a few scary drives would be nice.  The 18G ones are best for the ports
machines; the src build machines only need 9G drives.

If anyone steps up, thanks a lot.

Original message: MARC Archves "

This is always a way to help the project, just donate some hardware. This helps the team keep your old hardware useful (as a firewall, a print server, etc ...). You can always donate via PayPal , too.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    It's been a while, but I used to have an adapter that I got from a compaq server, that let me use Scsi II drives on my crappy old SCSI I adapter... (Plus you could use 1 -> 2 -> 3 adapter cables....)

    1. By grey () on

      Theo apparently has experienced problems using adapters on this older gear. See:

      Older hardware with newer hardware aren't always a good match, though my experiences with SCSI have usually been pretty postive (short of HVD vs LVD or SE).

      For those who can, donating hardware can really help out; I've done it a lot in the past - and try to whenever possible. Sadly, a cache of cheap sparc64 (cp1500 rackmounts) I came across recently I can't go ahead with as planned due to recent moving expenses - many developers could use better equipment than they've got.

      1. By MotleyFool () on

        Maybe some others could help out with purchasing some of the cp1500's?

        1. By grey () on

          Sure, I know want.html has at least one CP1500 listed; but additionally there are several developers I am in touch with frequently who don't have any sparc64 gear. I think the same could be said of a lot of OpenBSD developers. If you're interested in purchasing the cp1500's contact markp (at) he's got quite a few last I checked; old US5 333's from Exodus in 3U rackmounts w/ 128MB ram, and hdd's. $150. I don't really want to post this here to cause an onslaught of purchases for personal use, but hey I'm sure markp wouldn't mind (SRL does some cool stuff anyway, so it's all good). At any rate, refer to want.html or if you were wondering who I had in mind in particular use the email address provided I guess (it's currently just for misc@ fodder anyway).

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      There's no such thing as a "SCSI X to Y" adapter, at least until you get into differential-land.

      There are, however, high-byte terminating 5068 pin adapters... And a good number of non-terminating 5068 pin adapters sold at similar prices by unscrupulous dealers.

      The latter type will only work reliably for 1. shoehorning a narrow drive onto a wide chain, or 2. the supposedly-common-but-it-sure-never-worked-for-me special case where the drives a) have onboard termination and b) are smart enough to enable it 'to themselves' when only the low byte is connected to anything.

      That's a pain in the ass, finding adapters at a reasonable price and confirming that they're high-byte terminating is a pain in the ass, and even then the rare drive *might* not fall back all the way to SCSI-I speeds and protocol purely (but I'm lucky enough to say I've never seen *that* happen) ... but I have to wonder if Theo's been bitten by the mismarketing of 'straight-through' adapters, and that's what's made him shy off.

      OpenBSD is obviously priceless, but $299/drive does seem a little steep; obviously, if someone can do it for free, that's great, but when it gets to that point, he might as well get ripped off for a wide-to-narrow setup with a big fat guarantee on it (there are a lot of Overpriced SCSI Vendors out there who'd be happy to make the promise, especially at $300 for every 18GB) and perhaps get the extra decade of future-proofing... or consider moving what he can to the IDE flavor of the week.

      (Hmm, what do those 50-pin to IDE bridges go for? I'm a SCSI fan, but even without SCSI's nicer on-disk features, 5400-7200RPM IDE with today's platter densities and caches will stomp 'scary drives' of five years ago on throughput and seek time. I bet those little bridgeboards can buffer a few tagged commands, even if the motion of the heads across the platters won't be as optimal as with a real SCSI drive. And with those, you only need to worry if the bridge chip is compatible, since it'll be using its same firmware whatever the drive.)

  2. By Adam Chido () on

    I happened to buy 5 18g 50pin IBM SCSI drives off ebay a few months ago. They're all tested and work. Would these fit the bill?

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      The 18G ones are best for the ports machines
      *bling bling* I think those would work out fine.

    2. By mra () on

      If you are serious about offering the drives you should probably email Theo directly, I wouldn't imagine that he checks this site that often.

  3. By zrxcrasher () on

    During the normal course of duties I ran across this link which shows some Seagate SCSI 18GB drives. The prices are about $13/each. I wonder if this would be a way to provide hardware at a relatively cheap rate.

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